Thursday 17 March 2016

Safe as houses

I’ll never forget the time when Stephen bought us a new gas cooker just four days after I’d given birth.

He’d been making some dinner for us both, while I rested with our new bundle of joy. After a short while, we could make out the faint smell of gas and quickly realised it must be coming from the kitchen. Quick as anything, he helped me and baby Ethan up and had us stand in the porch, while he went to investigate and see where the gas was coming from.

He’d gone into superdad protective mode.

Our old gas cooker was positively ancient and I knew, as the main chef in our house, that the pilot flame was temperamental. I suspected that when Stephen had gone to check on our food, when slamming the oven door closed, the flame had blown out but the gas had continued to disperse.

Easily done.

But all that mattered to Stephen was our safety and within minutes, my Mother-in-Law had arrived to take Ethan and I to her house while he waited for the gas man to come round and double-check everything was ok.

Luckily, all was ok, and within an hour, we arrived home. To find that Stephen, cursing our archaic cooker, has ordered a new one to be delivered within days.

He wasn’t going to take any risks!

It’s a funny story to look back on, but I do not take for granted the fact that my husband is great in a crisis and will do whatever he has to in order to keep us safe.

His weekly smoke alarm tests are ongoing proof of that.

Unfortunately, not everyone has someone to look out for them or remind them to check things, like I do.

We know our neighbours to say hello to in passing, but in all honesty, most the people on our street are complete strangers; just familiar faces, despite the fact that we've lived there for almost 10 years.

That’s why I wanted to share the story of how we got our new cooker – to highlight the need to do regular safety checks in your home, and perhaps to think of others too.

CORGI HomePlan has a campaign to encourage people to make sure their neighbours are ok. 'How Safe Is Your Street' aims to raise awareness that anyone from single parents to elderly or vulnerable people could be just a few doors down street from you and might appreciate an occasional visit and the offer of a helping hand.

From taking in people’s bins to offering to check smoke alarms, it’s not a lot to ask really, and there’s an online hub full of ideas on how you can get involved.

As for us, we now have a carbon monoxide alarm installed as well as a smoke alarm. My family knew another family that had been tragically effected by carbon monoxide poisoning many years ago, and with the poor family in the news who lost their two children whilst on holiday for the same reason, Stephen wanted to put a safety measure in place.

That’s what superheroes do – protect people. And we can all be a superhero to someone.

* This isn’t a sponsored post although I was kindly sent a carbon monoxide alarm. It might not be the most glamourous of products to shout about but it could save our lives one day.



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